Kazaa founder Bermeister returns, with key cloud patents

Eyes content, music business in fee-fest

Brilliant Digital Entertainment subsidiary Kinetech has its eyes on the digital music industry, announcing that it has been granted three US patents covering content discovery and rights enforcement.

Back in 2009, Kevin Bermeister of Kazaa fame switched focus to legal music alongside former pirate-buster Michael Speck, and BDE acquired Kinetech, whose patents it had been using since 2002.

The patents are rather boringly described as “identifying and requesting data in [a] network using identifiers which are based on contents of data” (US patent 5,978,791), “identifying data in a data processing system” (6,415,280), and “enforcement and policing of licensed content using content-based identifiers”.

The last of these was re-examined last year and Kinetech was issued US patent 7,802,310 for “controlling access to data in a data processing system”, and in May, the three additional patents were granted. These cover data distribution and access (7,945,539), data access and control based on similarity (7,945,544), and data de-duplication (7,949,662).

If you’re still with me, let’s look at what the patents actually do.

Operations like content distribution networks (including outfits such as Google which run their own CDNs) work by storing content all over the world, and when a user requests content, working out the copy that can be delivered most efficiently. Content de-duplication helps make the distribution more efficient – for example, by making sure that each node in a CDN only holds a single copy of any particular item; while access control touches on the subscriber interaction.

BDE has told Australian outlet ITNews that licenses have already been agreed with Skype, Iron Mountain, Level 3, Audible Magic and Limewire, and it speculates that Apple, Google and cloud providers are the next targets. ®

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